The Philadelphia Flyers, who have struggled all year, capped their season off with two wins in their final round against the New York Islanders Thursday and the Ottawa Senators on Saturday. Although they are still not headed to the playoffs it was good to see a strong end for this team who has been plagued with numerous injuries. This will be the first time since 2007 that the Flyers will not make the playoffs. The New York Islanders and the Ottawa Senators have landed in the plays offs regardless of their late season losses to the Flyers.
During Thursday’s matchup against the New York Islanders, Danny Briere, who has been back on the ice recently after having a limited season due to a broken wrist and concussion, scored his 6th goal of the season. Briere’s goal was met with a standing ovation from fans; this was his first goal in 20 games. Oliver Lauridsen edged out the Islanders to win the game, scoring his second NHL career goal late in the third period with a slap shot to clinch the win for the Flyers in their final home stand. This is the first time in 11 games that the Islanders have not outshoot a team and with the loss to the Flyers (2-1), the playoff bound Islanders dropped to 8th place in the Conference. This unexciting game gave two veterans, Ilya Bryzgalov and Danny Briere a high note to end the season, possibly their last season as Flyers.
Final game for the Flyers on Saturday against the Ottawa Senators, the Senators came into the first period dominating play, outshooting the Flyers 14-5 in the first period. Jason Akeson picked up his first NHL career goal, as a result of some sloppy plays by the Senators. Jacuk Vorecak made the winning score (2-1) for the Flyers, as they deprived the Senators of gaining any ground in the conference standings. Steve Mason was in net for the Flyers and had 43 saves, Mason has had a great short season as a Flyers goaltender and the summer will tell if he was able to clinch the number one spot in the Flyers net. The Senators, who outshot their opponents in the last 5 games but only won 2 of those 5 games, continue to struggle offensively. The Ottawa Senators wrapped up their season on Sunday as they won 4-2 over the Boston Bruins in a very tense crucial game for both teams and clinched 7th spot in the Conference.
The Flyers finish their season on a 4 game winning streak and as their regular season ends, the off season begins. Hockey is a sport that never truly ends. The Flyers are expected to have a lot of changes during the off season; Briere and Bryzgalov are amongst some of the players rumored to be leaving the team this summer. Since goaltender Mason’s debut with the Flyers on April 16th, Mason has been in net 4 times and the Flyers have won all of those games: against the New York Rangers, Caroline Hurricanes’, Boston Bruins and Ottawa Senators. Mason’s future with the Flyers seems promising. The Flyers, a team not expected to finish dead last in their conference will miss the playoffs for the first time since 2007.